Why I Spend Christmas With My Friends
- Aude Konan
From binge-watching Misfits to awkwardly twerking to Céline Dione songs, Aude talks about celebrating the Christmas holiday with her friends rather than her family
There’s nothing better than being bedridden and marathoning Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta to make you reflect on your life. As I was watching yet another fight between the women in the show, I realised that it was pretty much what was happening last Christmas in my family. Hence why I’m not too keen about the next one. If possible, I’d like to avoid being blamed for being a jobless graduate, or being told how skinny/fat I am, and how I should do something about my hair (after all, why would I even wear it natural?) and then, I’ll find a man and be worthy of respect.
I’m masochistic, but I’ve got my limits. I spent my first Christmas alone few years ago. I went to visit my best friend and happened to stay over for the holidays. What we did was quite ordinary. We bought two cakes in a bakery, cooked a little bit and binge-watched Misfits. It was nice and lovely. I did feel guilty, because I had promised my family I’d be there with them for Christmas, bringing them gifts as always. However, it meant that I still kept hold of my self-esteem, and that was worth it.
I still feel guilty when the Christmas season arrives and it seems like everyone and their mother has a safe place they can call home and where they celebrate more or less happily.
Thankfully, I later realised I wasn’t the only one to feel guilty about not being able to celebrate. One of my friends lived abroad, away from home, and was too skint to come just for two days. Another one has a very abusive relationship with her remaining parent. For her own mental sake, I suggested we should spend Christmas together. All three of us crashed at my friend’s flat. We blasted some loud music like Kid Cudi and Céline Dion (which couldn’t be any more random) and tried – awfully – to twerk. We watched some episodes of Awkward Black Girl and then cooked our favourite dishes, sweet potato and ribs.
We woke up the morning after with no gifts under the Christmas tree (we were broke students, remember), but it was great.
Christmas can be draining when you’re confronted by abusive family members. You shouldn’t have to make them happy by coming over. If you don’t have any other choice than facing them, I guess hiding in a room is the safest option. The most important thing is to protect your own sanity.
They say that blood is thicker than water. I prefer this one – the blood of the covenant is thicker than the water of the womb. I always thought that friends were meant to fade, but they’ve been there when family members, who were supposed to support me, have done nothing but make me miserable.
I became an adult the day I realised I would never have the perfect family I used to dream about. But it struck me that my friends have been with me to hell and back for more than a decade. Christmas, for me, is a time that I want to celebrate with people whose behaviour merited celebration. My friends.
Feature image from HD Wallpapers.